Smith-Morra Gambit (B21)

The Smith–Morra Gambit (or simply Morra Gambit) is an opening Gambit against the Sicilian Defence distinguished by the moves:

1. e4 c5
2. d4 cxd4
3. c3

White sacrifices a pawn to develop quickly and create Attacking chances. In exchange for the Gambit pawn, White has a piece developed after 4.Nxc3 and a pawn in the center, while Black has an extra pawn and a central pawn majority. The plan for White is straightforward and consists of placing the bishop on c4 to Attack the f7-square, and controlling both the c- and d-files with rooks, taking advantage of the fact that Black can hardly find a suitable place to post their queen.

The Smith–Morra is uncommon in grandmaster games, but is popular at club level. It is named after Pierre Morra (1900–1969) from France, and Ken Smith (1930–1999) of the Dallas Chess Club. Hence in Europe the name Morra Gambit is preferred: names like Tartakower Gambit and Matulovic Gambit have disappeared.

Morra published a booklet and several articles about the Smith–Morra around 1950. Smith wrote a total of nine books and forty-nine articles about the Gambit. When Smith participated in an international tournament against several top grandmasters in San Antonio in 1972, he essayed the opening three times, against Donald Byrne, Larry Evans, and Henrique Mecking, but lost all three games.




B21

Sicilian, Grand Prix Attack and Smith-Morra Gambit, including the Siberian Trap 1. e4 c5 2. f4

Sicilian, Grand Prix Attack and Smith-Morra Gambit, including the Siberian Trap

1. e4 c5 2. f4

Study Games for Eco Code B21

B21

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